The state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest, is gaining popularity with its thriving culinary and cultural scenes, and its high quality of life. Lots of green space, outdoor recreation, arts, and entertainment activities are available.
A population that’s spread out appeals to many people who don’t want to get caught up in all the hustle, bustle and stress of big city life. There are only 42 people per square mile in Oregon. Even the largest city is just over half a million.
The highest point in the state is Mount Hood, with its perpetually snowy peak that rises to 11,249 feet above sea level. Eleven glaciers crown the crest creating an impressive sight that can be seen for miles. Surrounding Oregon are the states of: Washington, California, Idaho, and Nevada.
If you live in one of the five largest cities, start your job search here:
- Portland: 583,776
- Eugene: 156,185
- Salem: 154,637
- Gresham: 105,594
- Hillsboro: 91,611
Trucking jobs are plentiful here thanks to booming businesses including: forestry, nursery products, agriculture, and food processing.
Oregon Trucking Salary Information and Job Growth
If you live in a smaller town, you still may have plenty of options. Check with the trucking association in your state for some great job search ideas. The projected increase in trucking jobs between 2014 and 2024 is 6% for the U.S. but in Oregon the increase is expected to be double at 12% (SOURCE).
When it comes to salaries, don your shades ‘cuz the job market looks very bright. The average yearly salary for a trucker in the U.S. is $41,340 and in Oregon it’s $43,920. Even the median salary for Oregon comes in very close to the average, which is highly unusual $43,210.
When you look at individual cities you can determine the differences in salary.
- Corvallis: $52,680
- Bend: $47,490
- Portland: $44,510
- Medford: $42,600
- Eugene: $42,420
Also, be sure to factor in your years of experience as well as any endorsements you have on your license as this can affect your salary as well.
CDL License Requirements in Oregon
You must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before you can operate:
- Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or actual gross vehicle weight, whichever is greater, over 26,000 pounds;
- A trailer, or multiple trailers, with a total GVWR or actual gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds when the GVWR or actual gross combination weight, whichever is greater, of all vehicles combined is more than 26,000 pounds;
- A vehicle that transports 16 or more passengers (including the driver); or
- Any size vehicle that is used in the transportation of material that requires hazardous materials placards or any amount of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR, Part 73.
When applying for a commercial driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit, you must certify the type of driving you intend to do:
- Non-excepted Interstate: Class A, B, C trucks. Needs a current medical examiner’s certificate (49 CFR 391.45)
- Excepted Interstate: School bus, ambulance, fire truck, etc. No medical examiner’s certificate necessary
- Non-excepted Intrastate: You operate in non-excepted intrastate commerce when you drive a commercial motor vehicle only in intrastate commerce and are required to meet your state’s medical certification requirements.
Most commercial drivers operating in interstate commerce are non-excepted interstate commerce drivers. If you operate in both excepted interstate commerce and non-excepted interstate commerce, you must choose non-excepted interstate commerce.
The same goes for intrastate drivers. If you operate in both excepted and non-excepted, you must choose non-excepted intrastate commerce (SOURCE).
Oregon CDL Test Qualifications and Knowledge Test Details
The type of driving you will perform, and self-certify to, determines the qualifications you need to get your commercial driver’s license. If you self-certify an intrastate or excepted interstate driving type, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- Have or meet the qualifications for an Oregon Driver’s license and have at least one year of driving experience.
- Show proof of your full legal name and identity, legal presence in the U.S. if you’re not a citizen, your date of birth and proof of your residence address.
- Provide your Social Security Number;
- Complete requirements for any endorsements you will need;
- Pass a vision screening;
- Submit a copy of a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate and, when required, a State medical waiver
- Have a valid commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for at least two weeks before you take the Commercial Skills Test
- Pass the Skills Test
- Pay fees for tests, endorsements, license, and any others that apply.
- Not be suspended or disqualified from holding a commercial driver license in any state
If you certify non-excepted interstate, you need to meet the following qualifications, in addition to those above: 1) Be 21 years of age; and 2) Submit a copy of a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
Commercial Knowledge Test Information (SOURCE):
- General Knowledge Test is required for CLP applicants.
- Air Brakes Test is required to drive vehicles with air brakes.
- Combination Vehicles Test is necessary to drive Class A combination vehicles.
- Hazardous Materials Endorsement Test must be passed in order to haul hazardous materials or waste in amounts that require placards. You must take this test each time you renew.
- Passenger Endorsement Test is needed if you will be driving transport vehicles designed to carry 16 persons or more, including you, the driver.
- Tank Endorsement Test is required to haul liquids or gas in bulk.
- Doubles/Triples Endorsement Test is required to pull double or triple trailers.
- School Bus Endorsement Test is required if you transport students from home to school, from school to home, or to and from school-sponsored events.
Oregon Trucking Related News
Oregon State University studied the cost of not having enough safe places for commercial truck drivers to park and rest along Highway 97 in central Oregon. They reported, “Over a seven-year period on one 290-mile stretch of highway alone [U.S. Highway 97], at-fault truck crashes resulted in approximately $75 million of “crash harm.”
“Jason’s Law” allocates federal funding to truck parking and was a contributing factor to the study. “Jason’s Law is named for truck driver Jason Rivenburg, who was robbed and fatally shot in South Carolina in 2009 after pulling off to rest at an abandoned gas station.”
The law requires drivers to park and rest after 11 hours of driving. They must rest for at least 10 hours before they can drive again. This is for the truck driver’s safety as well as any other drivers out on the road.
Commercial drivers are often unable to find safe and adequate parking to meet these regulations. Therefore, the solution to driver fatigue is to invest in more parking areas for truck drivers to rest.
The financial cost to repair roadways and other damages caused by large truck crashes is higher than the cost to provide drivers with more parking spaces. Oregon State University’s study highlights the complete lack of sufficient parking, and sufficient safe parking, in hopes that the results will bring about more efforts to correct this life-threatening problem (SOURCE).